MANILA - The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is acquiring three modern flight simulators for P246.4 million to help pilots operate efficiently the soon-to-be-delivered T-50 fighter jets from South Korea.
The Department of National Defense (DND) said it is bidding out the project designed to enhance the operational capability of the PAF.
“This will allow pilots an almost full sensory experience that can aid improving flight instruction, enhancing proficiency, minimizing risks associated with emergency procedures training, reducing accidents, filling up downtimes, and saving on aircraft operational and maintenance costs,” Defense Undersecretary Efren Fernandez, chair of the Bids and Award Committee for the project, said.
“The DND and the Armed Forces of the Philippines now invite bids from eligible bidders for the Full Motion Flight Simulator Acquisition Project. Delivery of the goods is required within a period of 600 calendar days from the opening of the Letter of Credit (LC),” Fernandez said.
Sources said the government is set to acquire more fighter jets from other countries.
Prior to the opening of the bid for the simulator project on Feb. 10, a pre-bid conference will be held on Jan. 27 at the DND BAC Conference Room at Camp Aguinaldo.
“The DND and the AFP reserves the right to accept or reject any bid, to annul the bidding process, and to reject all bids at any time prior to the contract award, without thereby incurring any liability to the affected bidder or bidders,” Fernandez said.
The defense department is also bidding out a P149-million contract for the construction of Air Force facilities in Tawi-Tawi and Palawan as part of the military’s upgrade of its maritime defense and rescue capabilities in the West Philippine Sea and Sulu Sea.
The DND has also signed an P888-million contract with Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems Land and C41 for the acquisition of 28 armored infantry vehicles to boost the fighting capability of the 80,000-strong Philippine Army (PA).
Part of the project is retrofitting 24 of the army’s M113 armored personnel carriers with turrets from decommissioned Scorpion light reconnaissance tanks, transforming the M113s into fire support vehicles from merely “battle taxis.” Mounted on Scorpion’s turrets are 76mm cannon and 7.62mm machinegun.
The upgraded M113 fire support vehicle will also be equipped with a new fire control system and thermal imaging system.
Four of the M113s will have the capability of Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) armed with 25mm automatic cannons. Six will be equipped with additional .50 caliber heavy machineguns.
The M113s will also get upgrades on their armor protection and amphibious capability.
The Israeli firm will throw in, for free, four M113 armored recovery and repair vehicles.
The Army expects to roll out the 28 combat vehicles by January 2015, said Defense Undersecretary Patrick Velez. At present, the Army is heavily dependent on 105mm and 155mm howitzers in providing fire support for troops battling Abu Sayyaf terrorists or communist rebels.